GNWT: Update on Education Act Modernization
July 6, 2022
The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) is re-engaging with Indigenous Governments and education bodies on proposed technical amendments to the Education Act, following engagement that took place in the summer of 2021.
Guided by engagements with Indigenous Governments, education leaders, the Northwest Territories Teachers’ Association, parents, special interest groups and the public, ECE is taking a phased approach to modernize the Education Act, with technical amendments to be made to the Act during the life of the 19th Legislative Assembly, and broader discussions around modernizing the structure and governance of the Northwest Territories (NWT) education system to continue beyond the life of this government.
Phase one of modernization consists of making technical amendments to address issues that have been identified by the Office of the Auditor General and the Education Renewal and Innovation evaluation, and that were acknowledged as needing immediate attention or that received no significant comments of concern during the engagement period.
The intention of the second phase of modernization is to lay the foundation for a modern education system through comprehensive legislative changes that will address the overall structure and governance of the education system in the NWT.
Work on both phases was planned to begin at the same time. However, given the legislative agenda of the GNWT and ECE, including several legislative initiatives underway through the Intergovernmental Council process, there is not sufficient capacity to begin phase two work during the life of this government. With one year remaining in this Legislative Assembly, ECE is turning its focus to legislative initiatives that can be completed during this government. While this delay is unfortunate, it does not diminish ECE’s commitment to working collaboratively with Indigenous governments and education bodies on modernizing the Education Act.
“The Education Act is a complex piece of legislation, and it has broad implications for all residents of the NWT. ECE will continue to engage with Indigenous Governments, education bodies, stakeholders, and the public to ensure this legislation helps us create a modern education system in the territory. I would like to thank members of the working group for their time and collaboration around Education Act Modernization. The important work we have accomplished thus far will help steer these discussions in the future.”
– R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment
- ECE is working to modernize the Education Act as a step toward improving the Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 (JK-12) education system in the NWT. The process to modernize the Education Act is a multi-step and multi-year process.
- During Phase 1, ECE intends to develop a legislative proposal during the life of the 19th Legislative Assembly that addresses some of the operational and technical challenges of the current education system, such as conflicting authorities and timely Ministerial access to information about student outcomes.
- Phase 1 will address issues that need immediate attention and that have been identified in Office of the Auditor General audits as impeding the ability of the current education system to improve student outcomes.
For media requests, please contact:
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Department of Education, Culture and Employment
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-767-9352 Ext. 71073